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The Pan African University Council is the highest governing body of the university and has oversight of the policy, finances and property of the PAU. Unless otherwise provided in the Statute, the Pan African University council shall have authority to adopt regulations and to issue directives, policies and guidelines to govern all activities and operations of the Pan African University.

The Pan African University Council:

  • Approves the recruitment, promotion and discipline of academic and research staff of the PAU;
  • Approves staff regulations and rules for the PAU, taking into account recommendations from the PAU Senate on the selection and recruitment of academic staff. PAU staff regulations and rules approved by the PAU Council shall be presented to the Executive Council for approval;
  • Approves Codes of Conduct for PAU staff and students following recommendations by the PAU Senate;
  • Approves all other PAU regulations, rules, measures directives, policies and procedures which shall govern the activities and operations of the PAU;
  • Promotes socio-cultural activities of the PAU;
  • Designates new centers of the PAU and institutions affiliated to the PAU as well as Programme Departments within the Institutes and Centers of the PAU in consultation with the PAU Senate and the corresponding organ of the host university concerned;
  • Approves work plans and adopt the budget of the PAU on the basis of proposals submitted to it by the
  • Rector;
  • Considers the Rector’s annual activity report covering the work of the PAU and the status of implementation of its work plans;
  • Approves the multi-annual strategic development plan and operational plans of the PAU;
  • Approves any agreements, contracts and other arrangements of a legal nature to be signed by the Rector on behalf of the PAU;
  • Considers and approve the appointment of members of the PAU Senate nominated by the Rector;
  • Reports annually on the work of the PAU to the Assembly; 
  • Performs all other functions within its mandate as are necessary for the smooth operation and development of the PAU.

The Council may constitute committees or working groups and outline the membership and respective roles thereof as it deems necessary.

The Pan African University Council is constituted as follows:

  • President;
  • Vice-President;
  • The Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology;
  • The Vice Chancellors/Vice-Rectors of all host universities of PAU institutes;
  • The Chairperson of the Specian Technical Commitee (STC) in charge of education or his/her representative;
  • The PAU Rector (ex-officio);
  • The Directors of all PAU institutes;
  • A representative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO);
  • A representative from each of the RECs;
  • Two scholars from the African Diaspora appointed by the Chairperson of the Commission;
  • A representative of the Association of African Universities (AAU);
  • A representative of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS);
  • A representative of the Key and Thematic Partners on a rotational basis;
  • A representative of academic staff of the PAU;
  • A representative of administrative staff of the PAU;
  • Two representatives of students of the PAU.

The PAU Council elects the President and Vice President of the PAU Council from a list of five candidates presented by the Bureau of the STC. The candidates presented shall be citizens of AU Member States.

The Chairperson of the Commission appoints all other members of the PAU Council following consultations with the Bureau of the STC and the respective organizations enumerated in sub-article 1 of the PAU Revised Statute. The Chairperson of the Commission shall ensure merit and competence with due consideration for gender equity and geographical representation in deciding on the appointment of the members of the PAU Council.

PAU Council members shall serve a three-year term renewable once.

Half of the members of the PAU Council shall be replaced at the end of their three-year term. This half shall be determined by lot at the time of their assumption of Office as members of the PAU Council.


Functions of the President of the Pan African University Council:

As stipulated in Article 11 of the Revised Statute of the Pan African University Council, the President of the PAU Council shall fulfill the following duties:

  • Set the agenda of the PAU Council sessions in consultation with the Rector;
  • Summon the members of the PAU Council to attend PAU Council sessions;
  • Preside over the meetings of the PAU Council;
  • Monitor discussions;
  • Represent the PAU Council;
  • Receive all communications addressed to the PAU Council;
  • Sign all official documents issued by the PAU Council; and
  • Perform such other functions as may be specifically assigned by the PAU Council.

Historically, the first President of the PAU Council was Tanzanian Prof. Tolly S.A. Mbwette. He was elected for a three-year mandate by the 2015 Summit of the African Union, following Assembly/AU/Dec.551(XXIV). Unfortunately, Prof. Tolly Mbwette passed away on July 2, 2020 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He was succeeded by Gabonese Prof. Pierre Dominique Nzinzi, elected on 28 January 2018, through Decision Assembly/AU/DEC.675 (XXX). The handing-over ceremony between the outgoing and incoming President took place on 22 November 2018 in the presence of Professor Kassa Belay, PAU acting Vice-Rector, Directors of the four PAU Institutes and staff of the PAU Rectorate. After completing his mandate, he passed on the baton to Namibian Prof. Kenneth Kamwi Matengu, elected President of the PAU Council equally for a three-year mandate, through Decision EX.CL/Dec. 10 (XXXIX). The handover ceremony between the second and third president of the PAU Council took place on 1 December 2021 in Yaounde, Cameroon. The ceremony was organized in situ and online, as the incoming president could not reach Cameroon due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Prof. Matengu started assuming his duties in January 2022. He has already chaired two sessions of the PAU Council respectively in February and July 2022, and provided sound assistance to the AU Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, H.E. Prof. Mohammed Belhocine, during his mission tour to the four PAU operational institutes and their host universities and governments

The President of the PAU Council is assisted by a Vice-President. As specified in the Revised Statute of the Pan African University, the Vice-President of the PAU Council shall perform all the above-mentioned duties, in the absence of the President.

The first Vice-President of the PAU Council is Prof. Paulo Horácio de Sequeira e CARVALHO, from Angola. He was elected for a three-year mandate together with Prof. Tolly Mbwette following Decision ASSEMBLY/AU/DEC.551(XXIV). South African Prof. Nthabiseng Audrey is the second Vice-President of the PAU Council. She was elected on 2 July 2018 through Decision Assembly /AU/Dec.14 (XXXI) on the election of the Vice-President of the Pan-African University, at the AU Heads of State and Government Assembly. She was replaced by Professor Amany Abdallah El-Sharif, from Egypt, elected in February 2022, during the 40th ordinary session of the AU Executive Council. Professor El-Sharif is the second lady assuming duties as Vice-President of the PAU Council.

The PAU Council meets twice a year in ordinary session. It may meet in extraordinary session at the request of the President or at least simple majority of the total membership of the PAU Council, in consultation with the Rectorate;

The quorum for a meeting shall be a simple majority of the total membership of the PAU council;

Decisions of the PAU Council shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority of the Members present and voting;

Except as otherwise determined by the PAU Council, all meetings of the PAU Council shall be held at the Rectorate;

Minutes of PAU Council sessions shall be sent to the Commission for information;

The Rector shall serve as secretary to the PAU Council.


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